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Globalization isn’t changing food habits

Globalization isn’t changing food habits

The University of Minnesota reports that globalization is making surprisingly little change to what people eat and grow around the world.

The paper is a trade-based analysis, focused on measurements of the effects of comparative advantage, which is the notion that “countries open to trade will be able to consume more—in terms of volume and diversity—if they concentrate production on commodities that they can most cost-effectively produce, while importing goods that are expensive to produce, relative to other countries.” In other words, the ability to buy and sell food freely in a global marketplace ought to narrow the range of agriculture products flowing out of a country and broaden the range of goods flowing in.

However, this hasn’t really happened. “We still tend to eat based on the biodiversity around us, even though we could eat anything,” says Jeannine Cavender-Bares, a leader of the research team.

minnpost.com